Horse ownership on a budget: Is it possible? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-08-2015, 11:51 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I'm glad its worked out and you've been reflective of your experiences. I hope your luck continues :)
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post #22 of 27 Old 01-09-2015, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NZ
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i have 2 horses grazing on 3 acres of pasture and hard feed/ feed out hay through winter. I pay $15pp per horse so $30 a week. I worked it out to be grazing alone $1440 per year with another $1500 approx for farrier/food then i leave extra money for vetting and gear or float hire etc. So i'm spending over 4k a year to keep them going. I recommend adding things up to get an idea then see if your working arrangements can support this :)
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post #23 of 27 Old 01-09-2015, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: allen texas
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I just bought a horse , 20 year old appy, no problem, except underweight, old owner neglect, and the other hand, I am new to horse myself, I've taken lessons here an there. just joined pony club to gain knowledge and have a trainer to help. also just recently had to move barn dues issues there, are you prepared to do that, pay board 2 times, transport your horse. Im hard headed myself, but would never get a horse with issues, and green. Best of luck to you though.
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post #24 of 27 Old 01-11-2015, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Glad its worked out okay for you. I also do the horse keeping on a budget thing at the moment as I'm a full time grad student/research or teaching assistant at the moment. For others curious about horse keeping on a budget, here are a couple of things have been key in allowing this situation to work out well:

(1) I specifically chose to attend school/live in a very rural area, so pasture, hay, etc. is very inexpensive compared to in my home region
(2) I self care/rough board at a private farm and do all all care/supply all grain for my horses. Luckily, a friend of mine keeps her horses at a different farm down the road so we can trade off caring for horses if one of us is traveling, sick, etc.
(3) I exercise some horses, feed retired horses at pasture and other barn chores for a good local trainer who coaches me in exchange for those services
(4) My two horses live outside 24/6 w/ access to run ins and ample hay/pasture. I find this lifestyle helps minimize vet bills, feed bills, etc.
(5) My husband is very supportive of my horse hobby. While I pay all the horse bills, he does not begrudge the time I spend caring for and training them and has even started taking quite an interest in riding himself. He has also gone on more than one occasion when I've been home quite sick and unable to get out of bed with the flu or something and feed horses and checked the tank heater in worst winter weather cheerfully and without complaint. Doing the total self care thing would not be a possibility for me without him willing to do that every now and then.

Of course, I don't have the fanciest tack or go to many shows, but my horses are happy and healthy and I absolutely don't cut corners on vet, farrier, good nutrition, etc. so that is what really matters.
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post #25 of 27 Old 01-12-2015, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,135
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Anybody who keeps horses and doesn't budget is throwing money away. Here are the things that you MUST HAVE to keep a horse.
1) Place--yours or a boarding stable (avoid a friend who offers space, bc that stall/turnout could disappear immediately after one argument)
2) Feed
Figure exactly how much hay your horse eats and plan on purchasing 125%-150% of that. You might have figured it wrong, or you may need to supplement (especially with an old horse).
3) Stall bedding (if it isn't included in your board)
Really ALL of the rest isn't essential. You will buy one saddle and one bridle, one set of brushes and combs and hoofpicks, and a couple of jars of Nitrofucin or other (I love Coronoa, myself) which will last for YEARS.

You can go broke if you buy every product out there. When I worked as an employee, instead of an independent contractor, I NEVER had to buy Mane N Tail shampoo, bc my workmates gave me theirs.
Invest in a couple of Saturdays at the closest horse/tack auction, and you can pick up buckets, lungelines and lungewhips, brushes, etc. for a good price.

Keeping horses is like gardening. You can buy almost anything to grow plants/flowers, or you can go cheap with seeds and a lot of sweat equity.
I met a women at a gardening center who told me that her MIL was a "Master Gardener" who spent thousands of dollars every year landscaping. Really?!?!? =/

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #26 of 27 Old 01-16-2015, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 30
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It is possible to own a horse on a budget. You just have to be smart with your money and very aware of where it is going. It also means you might have to make some sacrifices for the well being of your horse. But if you are willing to try and to work hard, follow your dream!
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-16-2015, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alberta
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Originally Posted by gablehaus View Post
I would be hesitant because you are a green rider trying to train a horse more than anything. Because at some point in time you will most likely need someone's assistance in training this horse, and that is never cheap. Honestly, it doesn't matter how much time you have on your hands if you don't know what you are doing when it comes to breaking horses. Horse knowledge can't all be found by reading books and articles. I'm not trying to sound rude as I do believe it is do able for an experienced horse person to own a horse on a budget, but the way you are describing the situation you aren't that experienced rider.
I mostly agree with this. There was one point in my riding/ownership career in which I was dead broke and that was when I bought a horse too inexperienced for me. The cost of training and lessons doubled from that of an experienced, more seasoned horse.

I ended up getting so far in debt due to an additional $600/month being tacked onto my regular horse expenses for training ALONE. A few times I had to ask my friends and family for money to pay my rent bill, AND we had two incomes in our house!

That was absolutely unacceptable.

So I made the executive decision to sell my horse and get a more experienced horse who had some show experience. She is well trained, and of course had some things that needed to be worked on, but now I only pay for lessons -- where I learn to ride and train my horse. I've only had to have one training ride put on her ($25 cost per ride at my barn). The rest my instructor and I work on during my lessons, which I would be paying for anyway. Plus most places offer a discount if you take lessons on your own horse.

I had to take my horse to the vet today which cost me $225 - something that I would no way have been able to afford a few months back in the situation described above. This time I had already half of that cost saved up (I put small amounts away every paycheck as a rainy day fund now for these types of things). I was able to afford this comfortably.

Would I be able to afford an emergency colic surgery? No, and most couldn't without making payments. But I CAN afford the basic once-in-a-while vet visit which is so important. You need to be able to afford the reasonable unforeseen.

So my answer to your original questions is, yes, you absolutely can afford horses on a budget. I guarantee you 90% of horse owners are on some kind of budget. They have houses and vehicles and bills to pay for outside of their horse ownership. Not a very large amount of our population is so rich they don't need to worry about money.

My suggestion is not to adopt this horse. If you are interested in ownership, take the time to invest in a horse who will invest in you. Take some one with much more experience than you and try some out, and get a horse that suits your needs and will take care of you. If you can't afford the initial cost of a horse, and could only own by adopting, I highly suggest not buying at this time.
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